How Can You Protect Yourself?
There are several steps you can take to prevent your system from becoming infected by a virus or worm, spyware, or compromised through a remote exploit.
Anti-Virus All the Time
Install and keep an up-to-date Anti-Virus program. Having an antivirus run on your system is the first and easiest step in preventing having your machine compromised.
All it takes is one encounter with an infected file, a bad machine on the network, or a Trojan horse downloaded from the network to compromise your system. It could take hours, even days to recover from a virus attack, and there's no guarantee you will be able to restore your system or files to their pre-infected condition. When you factor in the time you will spend rewriting that paper or rebuilding that spreadsheet, it just makes sense to have anti-virus software on your PC.
There are many free variants, here are a few we suggest:
Keep Your Signature Files Up-to-Date
All anti-virus products need regular updates to detect current viruses. Having the auto update feature enabled is the safest way to configure your antivirus. Contact your anti-virus software's manufacturer for information on how often and how to obtain these updates.
If you surf the internet, it's inevitable that you will have a run in with spyware. It is all over the internet, and it will find a way to get on your computer. There are many programs to aide you in cleaning up spyware infections.
We suggest checking the following programs:
You are a target! Anyone that uses the internet is a possible victim of malicious intent. Here are some tips to help prevent bad things from happening to you online:
1. If you must share your hard drive or files to others, then password protect it.
2. Enable a software firewall.
3. Have Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software installed, updated, and running.
4. Do not click any foreign links or execute any programs which do not come from someplace or somebody you trust.
5. Be cautious when asked for username/password information through email. The vast majority of those requests are phishing attempts and should be discarded.
6. Physically turn off your computer when not in use to reduce the probability. (This also conserves energy)
Most importantly: "remember to practice safe and responsible computer use."